New Year Celebration on The Ayeyarwady (8 Days)

Cruise Line: Belmond Cruises
Shwe Kyat Yat, Myanmar to Mandalay, Myanmar
Dates: 26 Dec 2019 - 02 Jan 2020

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26 Dec 2019
Shwe Kyat Yat, Myanmar

On arrival guests set off on a tour through the Sagaing Hills, soaking up the views from Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, and a fascinating visit to a local nunnery if time permits. All guests will board the boat at Shwe Kyet Yet village. Meet the crew before enjoying your first buffet lunch onboard. Later, disembark for a guided tour of Mandalay. Highlights include the UNESCO-listed Kuthodaw Pagoda, the intricate wooden monastery of Shwenandaw, the bustling workshops of the marble quarter, and the stunning U Bein Bridge. Rejoin the ship and look forward to a cocktail party on the Observation Deck followed by dinner in the Restaurant.

27 Dec 2019
Ava, Myanmar

Start the day with an extensive buffet breakfast. Early risers may also like to visit the Healthy Juice Bar on the Observation Deck. There's also the option to take a tour of the charming Shwe Kyet Yet village. Belmond Road to Mandalay continues the journey to Ava, the ancient imperial capital. Upon arrival you can choose to explore the city by horse and cart or by mountain bike. Return to the ship as your journey continues towards Bagan. Enjoy time at leisure to soak up the indulgent atmosphere. Unwind by the pool, or be pampered with a treatment at the spa. In the afternoon sit in on longyi-tying and thanaka-preparation demonstrations. Savour afternoon tea before sitting in on a fascinating lecture on Myanmar's past, present and future. Grilled specialities are a highlight of dinner, which is served from live cooking stations under the stars on the Observation Deck. Then anticipate a magical surprise on the river, weather permitting.

28 Dec 2019
Bagan, Myanmar
Mount Popa, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar

Choose to start the day with sunrise yoga on the Observation Deck, followed by a meditation class in the Lounge. Sail toward Bagan, disembarking for an excursion to sacred Mt. Popa. Stop en route at a toddy palm plantation to see how jaggery palm sugar is produced using traditional methods. A Burmese-style lunch is served at Mt. Popa Resort, boasting stunning views. Return to the ship in the late afternoon. After dinner you'll be treated to a classical marionette performance in the Observation Lounge.

29 Dec 2019
Bagan, Myanmar

Dawn risers can experience one of the most magical highlights of Bagan—a sunrise hot-air balloon flight over the pagodas, available at an additional supplement. Enjoy a full day exploring the wonders of Bagan with your guide. Over 3,000 temples dot the plain beside the Ayeyarwady River, most of which were built between the 11th and 13th centuries. Begin with a visit to the bustling morning market at Nyaung-U. Continue to a small complex near Minnanthu to discover off-the-beaten-track temples, followed by a visit to Thitsawaddy, a pagoda affording panoramic views over the plains. Return to the ship for lunch. Afterwards, the exploration continues to the famous Ananda Temple. You will also be led to a small temple, opened exclusively for Belmond guests, to discover magnificent murals by torchlight. Continue to one of Bagan's tallest pagodas, then a traditional lacquerware workshop. Watch the sunset over the plains, then round off the day with a magical candle-lighting ceremony before returning to the boat for dinner.

30 Dec 2019
Bagan, Myanmar

This morning you can choose from a variety of excursions before we set sail. Visit some of Bagan's temples on a walking tour or explore the region by horse and cart or bicycle. There's also another opportunity for a breathtaking hot-air balloon ride (supplement applies). Back onboard, a leisurely day awaits. Take full advantage of the facilities on offer, from spa treatments and poolside relaxation to teatime treats. There is also an exhibition by a local artist onboard and an inspiring talk on Myanmar culture from one of our expert guides. Tonight you are invited to dress in your longyi for our New Year celebrations. Trade stories at the Captain's Cocktail Party on the Observation Deck, listening to a live band as the sun sets over the river. For dinner, our Chef will prepare an exquisite four-course New Year's Eve feast with expert wine pairings. After dinner, make your way to the Observation Deck for an evening of dancing and celebration. The champagne flows as we count down to the New Year. Make a wish as you release a Shan balloon into the sky, with a special New Year's Eve surprise along the river.

31 Dec 2019
Mingun, Myanmar

Wake up in leisurely style and enjoy a selection of morning activities, including sunrise yoga, meditation, cookery demonstrations, and a talk from Dr. Hla Tun. A sensational New Year's Day brunch will be served in the afternoon. After, disembark for an afternoon excursion in Mingun. Take a guided walking tour of the city's highlights, or visit a nearby rural village and see another side of Myanmar life. Return to the boat for dinner.

01 Jan 2020
Shwe Kyat Yat, Myanmar

Early this morning we set sail to the city of Mandalay, with an opportunity to take part in an almsgiving procession. Our main excursion today takes us into the mountains to the former colonial hill station of Maymyo. Here you'll see many English cottage-type mansions, one of which will be the setting for a typical Shan lunch. A horse-drawn carriage tour takes you through the highlights of the town, including the local marketing and Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens. Return to the ship berthed at Shwe Kyet Yet village for an evening at leisure. Tonight you are treated to a sumptuous farewell dinner.

02 Jan 2020
Mandalay, Myanmar

An early-bird breakfast is served before you disembark for your onward travel arrangements.

New Year Celebration on The Ayeyarwady map

About the Ship

Belmond Road to Mandalay

Cruise along the Ayeyarwady river on Belmond Road to Mandalay and be enchanted by temple tops and golden sunsets. Venture inland to witness daily rituals of local monks, tour ancient pagodas, and visit bustling markets. Then discover Myanmar’s mesmerising landscapes while reclining on the sun deck with a cocktail in hand.

What's Included


  • Morning tea or coffee served in your cabin on request

  • Buffet breakfast served in the Restaurant daily

  • Extensive buffet lunch served daily

  • Table d'hôte dinner with both eastern and western options

  • Complimentary soft drinks, mineral water, local beer and house wine are served with lunch and dinner

  • Complimentary pre-dinner aperitif served in the Bar each day

  • Cocktail parties with complimentary drinks and canapés

  • Gala Dinner on last night with specially designed menu

  • Onboard activities such as expert lectures and presentations, longyi-tying demonstrations, sunrise yoga sessions, meditation classes and cookery demonstrations

  • Fully-qualified resident doctor

  • Choice of excursions

  • Spa treatment menu

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Reviews and Recommendations for Belmond Cruises


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definitely reccomend

By: Ellie

Reviewed on: 23 Nov 2013

My husband and I spent a month in Asia and this was one of the high lights. The Mandarin Oriental where we stayed before and after the train trip was really special. The train was comfortable, the food was delicious and the service excellent. We took the trip to Laos and had very interesting stops for sightseeing. We had heard that some of the trains have upper and lower berths but not this one. Our Pullman had both beds on the same level and had a nice bathroom.
Travel Advisor:  Marsha Dolbow

Hotel & Trains

By: Harvey

Reviewed on: 12 May 2014

Had a Great stay in Peru at Belmond Hotels. Staff were the BEST !!!!. The train from Cusco to Machu Picchu was a very memorable experience too.
Travel Advisor:  Rita Madrigali

VSOE Is All You Would Dream it To Be

By: RichieBooBoo

Reviewed on: 06 Oct 2014

Very much enjoyed the Belmond experience again. Having traveled on the Hiram Bingham to Macchu Picchu and stayed at the Lodge earlier this year, my expectations were high. The VSOE doesn't disappoint. The Staff is so exceptional I don't know how you could NOT have the time of your life. Spend some time with Walter in the saloon carriage. He is a joy. I hope to visit again soon on another of the trains many routes.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy

Beautiful trip

By: Bob and Virginia

Reviewed on: 09 Oct 2014

See previous page.
Travel Advisor:  Angela Walker

Well-run trains

By: lassie

Reviewed on: 01 Nov 2014

I think the Orient Express is better suited to younger travelers. It is a bit of a hardship for seniors to climb up and down into top bunks and also the fact that there is no toilet is a problem Staff on board were very good. Food is somewhat old-fashioned but I guess the chef can only cook things that were popular n the 1920s and 30s
Travel Advisor:  Valerie Ann Wilson

Good trip

By: Happy Traveler

Reviewed on: 19 Feb 2015

Had a great time on the Eastern and Oriental Express. Service was all levels. The two stops were outstanding although more time could have been spent at Penang. Food aboard the train was very good but at times there should be more than one option. Great experience overall. Good way to see the countryside as well. Only other improvement would be to improve the mattress quality as they are quite thin and hard
Travel Advisor:  Angela Walker

Orient Express Train Trip

By: Jcutt

Reviewed on: 22 Jun 2015

Excellent trip but would not recommend it to non-train enthusiast. Fun, good food, but cramped compartments. One day is enough but glad we did it.
Travel Advisor:  Heidi Wohlert

Luxury on the Hiram Bingham train

By: Kathleen

Reviewed on: 30 Oct 2015

Our trip on the Hiram Bingham train that included lunch on our way to Machu Picchu was lovely. The scenery from the train was breathtaking, the food delicious and the service excellent. I would do it again in a heartbeat! We were very much looking forward to dinner on the HB train upon our departure from Machu Picchu but sadly that did not happen due to a train strike.
Travel Advisor:  Valerie Ann Wilson